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Indian Shares Post Second Weekly Loss on Fed Rate Prospects

BENGALURU, April 22 (Reuters) - Indian shares closed over 1% lower on Friday to log losses for a second straight week, with declines seen across the board, as global sentiment soured after the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted at an increasingly aggressive rate hike.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 1.27% at 17,171.95 at close, with all of its major sub-indexes in the negative territory. The S&P BSE Sensex fell 1.23% to 57,197.15.

Both indexes had added over 1% in the previous session on the back of a rally by India's most valuable company Reliance Industries. The oil-to-retail conglomerate snapped its three-day streak of gains to close 0.84% down.

World stocks fell to five-week lows as investors fretted about rate hikes in the United States and the euro zone.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Thursday a half-point rate hike will be "on the table" when the central bank meets in May, and it would be appropriate to "be moving a little more quickly."

Thursday's gains have been erased on the back of renewed fears of a faster rate hike as Fed meets next in May, said Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

We might have come out of fear psychosis with regards to the Ukraine situation, but concerns are very much there and these two factors coupled with pressure from rising commodity prices is affecting markets negatively, James added.

UBS on Friday cut India's 2022-23 economic growth forecast by 70 basis points to 7%, on slowing global growth due to high commodity prices, and weak local demand due to energy price hikes, inflationary pressures and a struggling labour market. 

Adani Ports was the top gainer on the Nifty 50 index, advancing 2.78%. The company said it would buy marine services provider Ocean Sparkle for 15.30 billion rupees ($200.11 million).

($1 = 76.4590 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa and Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh V and Shailesh Kuber

Source: Reuters

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